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October 5th 2016

Wollstonecraft lecture: Charlene White, Journalist, ITV Broadcaster and BHS alumnae

On Wednesday 5th October, Blackheath High students had the privilege of welcoming Charlene White back to school to speak words of encouragement as part of our Wollstonecraft lecture series.

She spoke passionately about her journey to success in the highly competitive industry of journalism. There are not many times in a teenager’s life when they feel moved and transformed by a lecture but this enriching experience truly broadened our vision and mindsets.

Aim high, be ambitious and have dreams!

ITN Newsreader inspires students

Ms White started her story by talking of her experiences growing up in South East London accompanying her mother to local markets in Lewisham and Deptford and living in a modest household where her parents had three jobs between them to fund her education at Blackheath High. She recalled honestly how she has had to confront racism throughout her life and how this has made her stronger, “proud of all experiences because they made me who I am today.”

She described how she takes the moral high road with the haters and detractors and touched us with her appreciation of the kindness of strangers. She encouraged us to "aim high, be ambitious and have dreams." However, this must be backed up with hard work, advising us to take every possible opportunity for work experience and to network.  

She discussed the challenges that women still face in the workplace and the effects that news and social media have on young women.

Just be you, just be great, just be fabulous 

Pronounced the inspirational ITN newsreader and Blackheath High alumna Charlene White.

As only the second black newsreader ever to present the  ITN News at 10, Ms White has learned to “embrace that fear” knowing that “little things become big things when changed”. A humble yet motivating role model to all girls, she reassured us that “you will always be ok” and that we should “enjoy life” as much as we can. Alongside everyone else, I was positively affected by her integrity and I know that many students in our Sixth Form, particularly those who were able to speak to her after the lecture, were inspired by this great woman.

Year 12


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